West Nile Virus | Prevention


Is there a vaccine for West Nile virus?

There is no vaccine to prevent West Nile virus in humans yet.

How can West Nile virus infection be prevented?

The best way to avoid infection with West Nile virus is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood.

The following are a few things you can do:

  • Get rid of standing water in birdbaths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and other places where mosquitoes might breed. Garden supply stores carry products to keep mosquitoes from breeding in small ponds.
  • Repair any tears in window screens, and porch and patio screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Stay indoors during dawn, dusk and early evening hours. Mosquitoes are most active during these times. If you go outdoors at these times, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose-fitting, light-colored clothing is best.
  • If you go outdoors, use an insect repellent that contains 20% to 30% DEET. Apply it according to the directions on the label. Talk to your doctor before you use insect repellent on your child.


West Nile Virus in the United States: An Update on an Emerging Infectious Disease by GD. Huhn, M.D., M.P.H.T.M., JJ Sejvar, M.D., SP Montgomery, D.V.M., M.P.H., and MS Dworkin, M.D., M.P.H.T.M. (American Family Physician August 15, 2003, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030815/653.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 04/04